It’s fair to say 2020 threw the whole world a curve ball. I know personally it is easy to look back and think I didn’t really achieve much, other than surviving two lock downs, home educating and the day job!
Having read Eve of Creative Curators round up of 2020 and thoroughly enjoyed it, with agreement I have borrowed the concept. If you have not visited her site it’s a treat for garment sewers.
I appreciate this is not my usual how to tutorial so feel free to skip on by, rest assured the next post will be a tutorial.
We started the year as a family, I have little recollection of New Years Eve other than my children reliably informing me I fell asleep and they were gutted to be sent to bed at 11:30pm, sooo close to midnight!!
Personally, as always at this time of year, I was counting down to a family holiday in Frejus in May.
My husband spent hours in the garden, in the dark (due to daylight hours) taking down the children’s wooden play equipment.
For the blog I was set 12 week goals – to complete Stupid Simple SEO including maximising ten published blog posts for search engine terms, along with my usual target of publishing a weekly blog post. The plan to hold myself accountable with two sets of friends
4 Blog posts:
A busy month with usual family activities, my daughter took part in the fund raising activity at school “bake off”. I attended a school governors meeting and took part in recruiting a new headteacher, an exhausting but rewarding process.
Medically I took father-in-law attended two appointments at the hospital, both reviews were positive with no deteriration. My son, somehow, tripped in our bedroom and broke a finger.
Friends and I met to sew bags for syringe drivers for the local hospital. Much hilarity and laughter was had along with reflecting on how for generations women have met to sew together. We made approximately 55 bags in the evening, a real team effort. It seems a life time ago now, one day we will be able to meet as many friends as we like indoors again.
On the blog I focussed on blog posts which would contribute to finishing my how to sew bags course.
6 Blog posts :
- Ultimate guide to bag straps,
- DIY Wood Wall Art,
- DIY Makeup Remover Pads,
- How to put a lining in a bag, two methods,
- How to make a top zipper closure for a bag,
- Choosing the right fabric and interfacing for a bag
Garden project progressed with seating area around the firepit complete.
The garden refurb was completed – what a transformation. Benched seating area around a fire pit. We pulled the children out of school, then as a country we went into lockdown. welcome to home working and home schooling. As a family we attempted to walk in lunchbreaks as our one daily allowance of exercise.
Wednesday night was christened pizza night, around the firepit. A real treat mid week. Finding little moments to look forward to in these strange times.
Blog ad income plummeted due to the impact of the pandemic. Plus I failed my 12 week target of completing my blogging course.
4 Blog posts,
The weather warmed up so we camped in the garden, played badminton and felt incredibly blessed for having an outside space. Lunch time walks changed to visiting father in law and standing outside to talk to him inside.
We arranged space within the home, hubby building himself a desk so he could relocate from the dining room table to the snug to work.
In social media a campaign started to crochet ear protectors for health care workers, I made several hundred in the evenings to post to care homes and nurse teams.
6 Blog posts
- How to build a pallet desk,
- How to adjust bag patterns,
- How to sew a recessed zipper in a bag,
- DIY Pallet Swing Seat,
- DIY Garden Bench Seat,
- How to make a drawstring bag from a t towel
We celebrated father-in-law’s birthday in his garden, keeping social distance! Homemade cake is always a winner.
The sun shone and restrictions began to lift a little, we managed a game of crazy golf.
I took part in the Sustainable(ish) online festival giving a live demonstration on how to make wax fabric wraps – you can find video of it here. This pushed me out of my comfort zone but as usual when I push myself out of my comfort zone the sense of achievement was good.
4 blog posts
- How to make un-paper towels,
- DIY re-useable snack packs,
- DIY Fabric Bowl Covers,
- Eco-friendly sewing projects
Our annual family holiday to France was cancelled, but the sun shine beautifully and we enjoyed our week off work and home schooling. We enjoyed camping in the garden and were able to travel further for exercise, hello beach, my happy place.
We celebrated fathers day with a delivery of afternoon tea. The sun shone and we enjoyed it in the garden.
I started making and selling facemask on Etsy – this became all-consuming, with my daughter cutting out elastic for me and husband packing the orders. I was delighted to find a local sewing shop which was offering a collection service, it was good to purchase from a small local business. The income generated from selling facemasks more than offset the loss of ad income from the blog. I had no time to blog.
No blog posts published.
We made the most of home schooling and finished the odd day early and headed for the beach. Face mask sewing continued apace.
We went to my parents for a BBQ in the garden, my Mum put a lot of thought into games we could play outside. We took it in turns to throw various items into a cleaned out bin! My son particularly loved the welcoming sign.
I sewed myself a dress, and then promptly lived in it! A beautiful linen from with the pattern, if you ever make this consider laying out the pattern pieces first as you do not need anything like as much fabric as advised.
2 Blog Posts
My brother and family came over from Amsterdam and stayed in their campervan on my parents drive. The weather was kind and we had a lovely time outside in the garden, although our youngest found it very hard to see his aunt and uncle and not play rough and tumble – keeping social distance was hard.
We spent two weeks staying first as glamping pod followed by camping at Kelling Heath, making the most of the governments Eat out to Help Out campaign – luscious cake in a local town. With many people staying in the UK avoiding crowds at the beach at times was tricky.
I sewed up a second dress for myself 🙂
Facemask sales dropped off, as they became readily available in shops. This was a relief, I find posting physical items stressful as to whether they will arrive.
Father -in -law decided he would resume coming round for tea, in a permitted bubble, following advice from one of his consultants.
2 Blog Posts
The children finally returned to school, with mixed feelings. I felt they were more than ready to mix with friends. Work picked up a pace trying to deal with months when we couldn’t visit people. Mondays and Tuesday returned to blogging days, and investing time in friendships. At the time we could meet people outside for walks.
I tried to walk daily on my own, to reduce some of the weight gained through the first lock down and to look after my mental health.
Behind the scenes I worked hard on a new ebook Bag Making for Beginners, collating together, proof reading and taking on board feedback for bag testers and proof readers. The book was accepted as a product for so I had a deadline to work to, extremely helpful as this book has been in the making for eighteen months!!
No blog posts published.
As a family we decided to camp in the school half term holiday, packing a plug in heater. The wind and rain howled but we had fun!! Amazingly the camping and caravan site was incredibly busy with caravans, but we did spot ten other tents, we weren’t the only ones! Thankfully our rather old tent held up with only minor leaks.
I spent time editing my ebook ready for the launch of the Creative Homes Bundle, creating additional resources for this purchasing from myself, plus an upsell.
4 blog posts
- Scaffolding board coffee table
- Make an applique scarf from old t- shirts
- Wood slice DIY wreath
- Top tips for sewing waxed canvas
The second lockdown is announced, this time with schools staying open. COVID rates are rising. We are allowed to walk individually with one person from another household.
The Creative Home Projects Bundle went live, eek! More of an eek was sending out so many newsletters in one week – behind the scenes learning how to create newsletters where people could opt out of the promotion took a lot of time, a big thanks to Lisa who helped me sort this. To my amazement, I made $400 of affiliate income, if you worked out an hourly rate for creating the ebook this was poor but on the other hand a massive achievement.
We try hard to make Christmas feel a little like Christmas by building a winter wonderland outdoor display with the children out of old pallets and branches. This was entered onto a local map to enable families to walk around the village looking at different Christmas light displays.
3 Blog posts
I was fortunate to be invited to be a beta tester for a course to create a sales page for an eproduct. Thanks to Niama I now have a sales page for my ebook Bag Making for Beginners.
Christmas plans change several times as the government consider releasing lockdown briefly – on Christmas day we had father-in-law and brother-in-law for Christmas dinner, and saw my parents around our fire pit for a Christmas drink. We then headed almost immediately into full lockdown and schools are shut once again.
3 blog posts
I truly appreciate every comment, share, visit to youtube. My aim is to inspire you to make and craft with items you have to hand in your home. Thank you for joining me on this creative journey,